Abuse suffered as a child can result in long-term emotional, psychological and even physical problems. Those who have been abused should seek some form of help as soon as possible.

Most adults who are abused as children never speak about it to anyone. Specialist child abuse solicitors have found that many clients have not spoken about the abuse until they are into their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Most of them find that abuse has had devastating consequences not only throughout their childhood but also into their adult life.

The long-term effects can result in difficulty maintaining relationships with family and friends. Some have very low self esteem and think they are not worth caring for. This is sometimes because this is what they have been lead to believe by their abusers. Some suffer from depression and it is not uncommon to question their own sexuality, particularly if abused by a member of the same sex. It is often the case that the victim turns to drink and illicit drugs to block out memories. Some self harm and attempt to end their life.

Some victims who were abused by members of their family fear being ostracized by other family members and stay silent believing they did not deserve help. Trust becomes an issue and they need to learn to trust again. The person may feel even more alone than what they previously had done and is why it might be useful for them to speak to a counselor, someone who does not know them and is not going to judge.

Many victims are taken into the care system for their own safety but in actual fact were treated so badly within the system, they were probably safer staying outside it. Often this means that a person will not report abuse as they do not believe they will be treated seriously or be believed at all.

Seeking professional help immediately and talking about what has happened can make a difference. Beware though as sometimes talking about the abuse can lead to regaining other memories.

There are various organisations you contact and speak in confidence to. The Samaritans or Victim Support are just two of these.


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